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How to Plant an English Laurel

By Katelyn Lynn ; Updated September 21, 2017

The English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is also sometimes referred to as cherry laurel. It belongs to the Rosaceae (rose) family of plants. English laurel is an indigenous plant to regions in the southeast of Europe and in southwest Asia. It has been used for over 400 years in Europe as a hedge and ornamental specimen plant. Plant English laurel in full sun to partial shade and provide it with slightly acidic soil.

Dig a planting hole for the English laurel that is at least twice the width and depth of the root ball (or container). If you're planning on planting a row of English laurel you can space each hole 3 to 4 feet apart for a thick hedge, and 4 to 6 feet apart for a less dense hedge.

Mix into the soil you removed from each of the planting holes a 5-gallon bucket full of peat moss, compost, aged manure or similar organic matter. Measure out one cup of granular, balanced fertilizer, such as 12-12-12 or similar, and mix it into the soil along with the organic matter.

Scoop a few shovelfuls of the organic matter, fertilizer and soil mixture back into the planting hole. Fill the planting hole about 1/2 full of water and let it fully settle away before you proceed.

Remove the English laurel from the container it is growing in. Turn the pot upside down while you hold the English laurel at the base of its stem, right on top of the root ball. Use a trowel, a block of wood, or any sturdy object and tap upward all along the rim to remove the pot from the root ball.

Set an English laurel into the previously dug hole. Check to make sure it's sitting level and straight in the planting hole. Scoop in soil to fill the planting hole about 1/2 full. Gently compact the soil around the root ball of the English laurel.

Add more soil to the planting hole until it's filled with soil. To help with watering, created a dam of dirt approximately 2 to 2 1/2 inches high that is about 24 inches in diameter around each of the planted English laurel plants. Water each of the English laurel plants thoroughly.


Things You Will Need

  • English laurel plants
  • Shovel
  • Organic matter
  • Trowel, or block of wood


  • According to floridata.com, English laurel plants are not drought tolerant and they require regular watering during the growing season.
  • To help keep moisture in, and pesty weeds down, spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around each of the English laurels. You can use grass clippings, pine bark, compost, or any similar organic material.


  • The leaves, twigs, stems and seeds of English laurel are toxic.

About the Author


Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.